More and more I’m noticing that what we all want is to be seen, heard, and understood. We want people to empathize with us, to recognize what we’re going through and trying to express.
This week I had some angry interactions with others. They became upset over something that involved me, but wasn’t really about me. My first reaction when someone explodes in my direction is to cower, to take it in. My next reaction is to become angry in return, to meet anger with anger. Finally, I turn to empathy and say, “I hear what you’re saying. It sounds like you feel _____.” When I’m able to get to that empathic place, the person cools down and says, “You’re right, that’s exactly how I feel,” and then we’re able to have an honest conversation. The honest conversation is where the solutions come from.
|Are we hearing each other the way we listen to a song?|
A friend told me recently the hardest part about relationships for her is going deeper when she’s wounded. That instead of running away from her partner when he gets upset, or trying to hurt him back, is getting to that empathic, vulnerable place. I found that to be true for me too, especially when I’d much rather throttle the person’s neck. I’m not saying anger doesn’t have its place – it absolutely does – but sometimes its better to express anger to a neutral third party. Instead of escalating a heated situation, it’s often better to call up someone else and vent.
I find this to be true for other emotions too. When I’m sad, sometimes I want someone to tell me things will be OK, or to help me problem solve, but oftentimes I’d rather someone said, “I hear you. That sucks,” and then let me cry. I usually know what I need to do so I’d much rather have support than advice.
I first wrote about empathic listening or nonviolent communication in 2009. I’ve been using some of the methods I picked up ever since and find it just as inspiring now as I did then.
What I find so encouraging about empathic listening is its potential for huge and lasting change. It’s been used to reduce violence in hospitals and curb bullying. Plus Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of nonviolent communication, negotiated peace deals with terrorists using the method. I can’t help but wonder how much of the violence in the world is because people are not getting their needs met? How often are we resorting to angry words and louder voices in an effort to get people to understand where we’re coming from? Not everything can be solved with empathic listening of course, but I honestly think some problems can.
I dream of a world where we make an effort to see, hear, and understand each other better. A world where instead of firing off an angry invective, we try to access an empathic place. A world where we bring more love into our conversations, especially the hard ones. A world where we can honestly say we do hear one another.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.
In answer to a request, all of the audios from my teaching of Step One and Step Two from “The Seven Steps to Awakening” have been posted on my website under the Audios menu.
I will begin adding Step Three audios soon!
Regina Dawn Akers
Living from my Self Without Confusion
with Regina Dawn Akers
April 24, 25 & 26
Come one, two or all three days!
in Moorestown, New Jersey
Using The Holy Spirit’s Interpretation of the New Testament (NTI), The Teachings of Inner Ramana and any clarity that arises in the moment, we will become clear on the difference between the impostor ego-self and our true Self. We will learn simple tools that help us tune in to our true Self so we can live…abide…as our true Self in day-to-day life, even when “the going gets tough.” You will have the opportunity to ask specific questions regarding your life challenges and receive answers that you can put into immediate practice. We will also look at why Self-abidance is the greatest gift we can give to the world.
**Moorestown is only 20 minutes outside downtown Philadelphia, PA**
Schedule, Location & Registration Fees:
~ Friday, April 24, 7pm-9pm at the Moorestown Community House. $25 in advance or $30 at the door.
~ Saturday, April 25, 10am-5pm at the Moorestown Friend’s Meeting House. $80 in advance or $90 at the door.*
~ Sunday, April 26, 1:30pm-4:30pm at the Moorestown Community House. $30 in advance or $35 at the door.
*There will be a 90-minute lunch break on Saturday.
Attend all three days for $125!
Friday night and Sunday afternoon will be held in The Club Room at the historic Moorestown Community House located at 16 East Main Street in the Heart of Moorestown, New Jersey. Regina will also speak at the Center for Conscious Living Sunday morning service, held in the Ball Room at the Community Center from 10-11:30am.
Saturday will be held in The D’Olier Room at the Friend’s Meeting House, 118 East Main Street, Moorestown, New Jersey.
Regina Dawn Akers
What is this class about?
Introduction to Sufi Thought is a devotional class where we will contemplate some of the 99 names of Allah; we will read some very funny but spiritually meaningful Sufi stories about the great fictional wise-fool, Mullah. We will also look at poetry by great Sufi mystics including Rumi, Kabir, Rabia, Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali, Attar and more. This is a wonderful opportunity to look at the heart of the Qu’ran through the eyes of those who have seen it clearest.
When & where does this class meet?
This class is facilitated by Regina Dawn Akers. It meets on Wednesday nights, from 7-9pm Pacific Time on the following dates: April 1, 8, 15, 29, May 6. Each class is two hours long. It is an interactive class that meets in a private room in PalTalk, so knowledge of how to use PalTalk is extremely helpful.
The class is 5 weeks long. There is no class on April 22 due to Regina’s travels.
How much does it cost?
The registration fee is $100.
What is the homework commitment?
Since the purpose of all Awakening Together classes is to help participants become Self-reliant with inner spiritual wisdom, participants will contemplate class material before coming to class. In class, participants share their experience with the contemplation and the facilitator sheds additional light on the material contemplated. Therefore, homework begins on March 26, one week before the first class meeting. There is homework 6 days per week throughout the 5-week class. It takes about 30 minutes per day to complete the daily devotional homework.
What book do I need to buy?
In addition to the workbook provided by Awakening Together when you register, a textbook is required. The participants must purchase the textbook from a book seller such as Amazon. The Textbook needed is The Sufi Book of Life by Neil Douglas-Klotz.
**When you order from smile.amazon.com and designate Awakening Together as your charity of choice, a portion of the money you pay is donated back to Awakening Together at no cost to you!
How do I register?
Registration for Introduction to Sufi Thought is open through March 24.
Regina Dawn Akers
NTI 1 John 4 from 3/17/15
at the Center for Inner Peace in Pueblo, CO:
Weekly assignment from this audio:
Look at every thought, belief, feeling or image
and determine if it is a reflection of truth or a reflection of non-truth.
NTI audios are permanently archived on this page.
Regina Dawn Akers